Above the shooters, at their coward play,
Beyond the leaden drifts of murderous hail,
On higher wing the homeward Rookery sail,
And clamour hoarse, loud protest & dismay;
Indignant valleys echo far away,
‘Pity is dead, and prayer of no avail!”
The soft-winged prisoner dies before the pale,
Or dropped beyond, shall bleed another day.
Was it to sanction death and banish love
The Olive-bearer to the Ark returned?
Did God descend in likeness of a Dove
That men, in sport, might take the life they spurned?
So vainly, with the years in cote and grove
Hear these, unpitied, mourned, and mourned and
(Sonnets at the English Lakes, p. 52)